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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
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15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

Recording, Honing Your Craft, drums

Jul 25, 2016 09:00 AM

Mahea Lee

4 Tips for DIY Drum Recording

Screencap via Soundfly video

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


For many musicians, the idea of recording a demo can seem a bit daunting, especially when taking a do-it-yourself approach. Fortunately for those of us who need a bit of guidance, Black Lodge Recording’s Vishal Nayak has helped the Soundfly team create a brand new course, full of tips for efficient, effective, and stress-free demo production. DIY Production Techniques: Demo Recording 101 can help you take your demo from conception to completion.

One of the first things you’ll need to do (after setting up your scratch track) is to set the tempo for the whole song by recording your drum parts. In the demo recording course, we focus on recording a live drum kit using two microphones. Here are some pointers to help you do it right.

Performing, Honing Your Craft, piano

Jun 20, 2016 06:00 AM

Mahea Lee

4 Tips for Better Technique and Posture on the Piano

Screencap via youtube.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


As Oscar Peterson once said, “Technique is something you use to make your ideas listenable.”

Until you’ve built up a bit of pianistic muscle memory, trying to play with good technique can feel super awkward. If you’ve taken private lessons, you’ve probably rolled your eyes at a few reminders to relax your wrists and play on your fingertips. If you haven’t had someone around pointing those things out, there’s a good chance you’ve ignored some aspects of technique altogether.

However, I can say with experience (both first- and secondhand) that forcing yourself to sit straighter and relax your shoulders is a heck of a lot better than having to soak your wrists in epsom salt baths and endure hours of acupuncture.

Songwriting, Honing Your Craft

May 26, 2016 10:00 AM

Mahea Lee

4 Tips to Help You Start Writing Songs in Irregular Time Signatures

All images via flypaper.soundfly.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


Introducing irregular time signatures into your compositional practice can be a liberating experience. Like anything else in music, nothing is hard and fast here, and there’s certainly a bit of magic involved, but here are a few tips to help you start experimenting.

5 Unofficial Band Members Every Band Should Have

All images via soundfly.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


Remember Captain Planet? If not, I recommend taking a moment to familiarize yourself with the eco-friendly superhero. The point is, he had this amazing team of friends who brought different powers to the table that allowed them to start tackling crises before the big guy even showed up on the scene. Well, I'm going to go ahead and say that when it comes to community building, you and the other musicians in your band should aim to be Captain Planet. You guys may be the main event, but where would you be without your Planeteers? Here are a few roles for unofficial band members you may want to fill in your quest to assemble Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and yes, Heart.

Songwriting, Honing Your Craft

Sep 2, 2015 07:00 AM

Mahea Lee

Beyond the Pop Progression: 3 Simple Harmonic Strategies to Add Color to Your Chords

Image via flypaper.soundfly.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


Most of us have watched and re-watched that Axis of Awesome video by now. If you haven’t, take a moment and do it now. I'll be here when you're done.


The point that video makes is that countless songs we all know and love are built around the same harmonic changes. There's nothing wrong with that. You can't copyright a chord progression. In fact, I once had a professor who convinced me that 99 or so percent of all Western chord progressions can be traced to either tonic-dominant (I V) or tonic-subdominant (I IV). Everything else is some sort of substitution.

Using a well-loved chord progression can create an instant sense of familiarity with your listeners. Even those who don’t consider themselves musical can, to a degree, predict where a melody is going if it's presented over a set of chords that has been ingrained in them. That increases the chances of them humming along.

On the other hand, straying from the predictable can also make your music memorable. I'm a big fan of progressions that step outside of conventional lines. But remember: if anything goes too far over your audience's heads, they're likely to tune your music out (raise your hand if you've ever had to watch someone else to know when to clap at a jazz club!). Know the audience you're writing for and give them what they're willing to handle.